The struggling Phillies offense will receive a little bit of help Wednesday when Pedro Feliz is expected to return to the lineup. Charlie Manuel said today the veteran third baseman will make two more rehab starts -- he was 0-for-3 with a walk today for Class A Clearwater -- before rejoining the team. Feliz hasn't played since July 24.
Though Feliz’s absence may not have been as dramatic as the losses of Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino early in the season, he has played an important role both defensively and offensively this season for the Phillies. His .256 batting average and .304 on base percentage are both slightly better than his career averages, and he has hit 12 homes runs with 46 RBI while batting primarily sixth and seventh. Furthermore, his .968 fielding percentage ranks behind only St. Louis’ Troy Glaus among National League third baseman.
To fill the void, Manuel has leaned primarily on Bruntlett, who is arguably the best fielder on the bench. But while Bruntlett has made one error in 43 total chances at third this season, he has hit .130 with one RBI and two runs scored since Feliz went down.
Dobbs is hitting .306 with three home runs and nine RBI during that stretch, but has made four fewer starts thanks to Manuel’s desire to put what he feels is the best possible defense on the field.